Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bookish Goodness: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

I am an equal opportunist when it comes to reading. I will read just about anything with words on it: books, menus, manuals, shampoo bottles, anything! More often than not though, I find myself reading YA. Now don't get me wrong, I love YA. YA is by far my favorite genre. But sometimes reading YA can get a little redundant. Especially lately, it seems that all of the books I read have the same general plot, the same types of characters, and the same endings. So, I have been branching out into other genres. My forays have not always been successful but I have read several very good books. My most recent kick has been reading books written by Japanese authors. I've read several that were okay and several that were not okay. One author that I had been looking forward to reading books by was Yoko Ogawa. I started by reading The Diving Pool: Three Novellas, and absolutely hated it. I was almost too scared to read another book by Ms. Ogawa but I decided to try reading the book that had originally piqued my interest and I fell in love after the first chapter. This book was The Housekeeper and the Professor.

Going into reading The Housekeeper and the Professor, I assumed that there would be romance. Actually, I assumed it would mainly be romance. I assumed that the professor would be younger and the housekeeper would be older. Neither of my assumptions were true, and it was a pleasant surprise. This story was extremely bittersweet. I love the bond between the Housekeeper and the Professor, the Housekeeper and the Son, the Son and the Professor, and all three of them! The progression from complete stranger to integral parts of each others' lives seemed so natural. Ultimately, the only character I didn't like was the sister-in-law (I disliked her from the very beginning) and I especially disliked her relationship with the Professor. I feel like her part in the story was completely unnecessary and even detracted from the feel of the novel in some instances.
One aspect of the book that I especially liked was the fact that Ms. Ogawa did not name her characters. Normally when characters are named, it gives stories an outside-looking-in feel. By leaving her characters nameless, Ms. Ogawa made her novel feel more intimate.
Ultimately, I could not put this book down. The Housekeeper and the Professor is a must read. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars because even the parts I didn't like were still pretty good.

No comments:

Post a Comment